Posted by: Garry | 2003/12/10

Strength taining: Weights training (Legs) vs. Sprints

Over a period of 2 years, I have been alternating various leg routines (weight lifting) to increase bulk and strength in my legs. I have sometimes pushed myself till almost fainting and being sick. With not a large amount of improvement. I know that diet plays an important factor and things such as technique, I believe I am competent in these areas. What I havent tried is running or doing sprints to increase muscle size and strength. Will this help or will it be a waste of time? If not what sort of routine should be followed?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Garry

It's quite hard to know exactly where to start with this - there are some important things I don't know. For example, I'm not exactly what these sessions consisted of, other than that you nearly fainted. With strength training the trick is to use the right weight and do the right number of reps, and this is usually not that hard that you will almost faint. It may even be that you were just training too hard, and doing too many reps. What happens with the muscle is that when you do more reps you start to actually develop more endurance and stamina, as opposed to strength, and eventually, you fail and become fatigued.

So, what I would look at doing first is to try to do the same strength training, but with fewer reps, and possibly a heavier weight. I would suggest doing no more than 8 reps (even 6 is good), and use a weight that is heavy enough that you would be able to lift it a maximum of 12 times. In otherwords, the weight is really heavy, but you do only 6 reps with it. Do 3 sets like this, but rest for really long in between. I think it's important that you start training the right system - instead of doing more, do less, at a higher intensity and the result should be strength.

GOod luck

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